January – October 2019
Phase IIIa was an incredibly arduous, dynamic, and engaging development cycle. This marked the third and final round of funding from ASU SESE and fulfillment of a challenging set of deliverables. The principal objectives were as follows:
- Total rebuild of the front-end: Registration, Login, Configuration Wizard, and Dashboard.
- Advanced resizing of the interface to accommodate phones, tablets, laptops, and desktops.
- Support for command-line execution, from simulation configuration to export of data in .csv format for analysis for science simulations.
- Introduction of non-linear agent interactions and growth patterns: normal, log, exponential, and sigmoid.
- Transition to a database driven, asynchronous processing model for improved performance.
- Ease of installation and deployment by means of Docker containers.
- Vastly improved stability over Phase II.
- Completion of the Grades 5-8 and 9-14 SIMOC curriculum packages, including documentation for Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) alignment.
This phase of development marked the transition from an academic project into a commercial grade deliverable. The blue sky brainstorming in Phases I and II was brought to focus on key deliverables to ASU and launch partners National Geographic Society, Biosphere2, and Arizona Science Center.
A hi-light of Phase III was the 28 days that project lead Kai Staats lived at the University of Arizona’s Biosphere 2, near Oracle Arizona. In this time he designed, built, and executed a barley fodder growth experiment in order to capture PAR (the wavelength of light used by plants), temperature, relative humidity, CO2, water consumption, and biomass data. This was used to build non-linear functions then inserted into SIMOC’s agent description file. You can review the project in the following posts:
A research project at Biosphere 2, February 6, 2019
SIMOC at the Biosphere 2, a photo essay, March 1, 2019
SIMOC at the Biosphere 2, experiment summary, March 9, 2019
SIMOC at Biosphere 2, research concluded, March 13, 2019
Presentation and Publication at ICES 2019, July 10, 2019
Steady as she goes …, July 26th, 2019
Soft-launch to National Geographic, Arizona Science Center in 10 days!, September 21st, 2019
SIMOC Phase III nearly complete!, September 29th, 2019
ASU Interplanetary Initiative video about SIMOC, September 30th, 2019
SIMOC Phase III beta is away!, October 1st, 2019
With feedback received from the National Geographic Society review panel, the SIMOC development team will make updates and improvements while working with Nat Geo to prepare SIMOC for large-scale deployment by the close of 2019. Ongoing updates will be made to improve the end-user experience in 2020.